“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”
A few weekends ago, Aaron and I dusted off our bikes and headed over to Arlington National Cemetery. The air was brisk, the trails tranquil, and the tourists practically nonexistent: just how I like my weekends in DC.
Once we made it into Arlington, we practiced our best race walking skills to book it up the hill to make sure we didn’t miss the changing of the guard. The ceremony was solemn and precisely executed, but by far the most sobering part was watching the older veterans in the corner stand up from their wheelchairs when the ceremony began. God bless our veterans and soldiers.
The ceremony really meant a lot to me. I thought about the soldier in the tomb and the other brave soldiers he represents, and I was very touched to think that at least he’s never alone, even in death, with the soldiers who take such care to guard him and keep him company in a way.
We found out there is an app you can download that will help you find someone’s grave. Trust me, you’ll need it if you’re looking for someone in particular. The grounds are enormous.
We made sure to visit the grave of General Pershing, a friend of Aaron’s great-great grandfather. When we finally found his grave, we expected it to be an imposing grave to equal his standing in the war. Instead, it was a modest grave, tucked away on its own on a little hill. It seemed to fit the man. Aaron’s great-great grandfather, Harvey Hyrum Taylor, said,
“General Pershing. I was personally acquainted with him. We became good friends. One night about eleven o’clock, and orderly came to my house and woke me up. He said the general wanted to see me. I went up and said, “What is it, General?” “Well, Harvey,” he said, “I’m lonesome; I’d like to talk to you.” We talked til two o’clock in the morning. We talked about Mormonism; we talked about the war; we talked about the war going on over in Europe. You see, he was the head man over there. I knew Patton. I knew Collins, Major Parker, Colonel Kabel, and all those fellows.”
We wanted to visit General Pershing so he wouldn’t feel lonesome.